Michael and Sally Grayson with Jazz, Isla, Luca and Dominic at a candlelight vigil outside the Coles shopping centre in Nambour for the little girl killed in Sunday’s tragedy. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
Michael and Sally Grayson with Jazz, Isla, Luca and Dominic at a candlelight vigil outside the Coles shopping centre in Nambour for the little girl killed in Sunday’s tragedy. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Close-knit locals bond in the face of horror

NAMBOUR, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, is one of those good old-fashioned country towns and it has held that reputation since its beginning in the 19th century.

The town was built around its sugar mill, which was the lifeblood of the town for more than 100 years. And for almost the same number of years, it was the economic and administrative capital of the Sunshine Coast.

But most of all, it's been a town about community, where sporting, charity and business support groups have flourished and active memberships have always been ready to put their hand up to help.

 

Even after the area boomed and the population doubled, Nambour still lived up to its 1960s slogan, "The Friendly Town".

That same spirit shone yesterday when a little girl was ­fatally injured in front of shoppers at the Coles shopping precinct, which was built on the site of the old sugar mill after its demolition in 2006.

A candlelight vigil outside a Coles shopping centre in Nambour. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning
A candlelight vigil outside a Coles shopping centre in Nambour. Picture: AAP Image/Josh Woning

Within hours, Nambour had rallied. Proud residents who keep in touch through the social media group Living in Nambour, were shocked as news spread that tragedy had visited their town on a quiet Sunday at the close of the Show Holiday long weekend.

And the support began flowing, with offers to cook meals, visit or deliver help of any kind. There were also pleas to spare a thought for the car's driver, surely a grandmother who would be struggling in the aftermath.

A candlelight vigil was organised for 6pm - and if you could not make it, then it was suggested you leave your ­outside light on as a mark of respect.

Despite the horror that had come to their pleasant country town, residents proved they were solid: "As a community, we are grieving," they said.